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United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Statements

Deputy Secretary-General: Statements

New York, 15 April 2013 - Deputy Secretary-General's remarks at General Assembly thematic debate on the United Nations and Global Economic Governance

I thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this important thematic debate on global economic governance. 

As we all are aware, the world economy is more interconnected than ever.  Successive crises have highlighted how international economic integration and interdependence have increased.

Recent years have also seen the rise of the global South -- a rebalancing of global economic power with the increased importance of emerging market economies.

Some efforts have been made to adjust the policy and institutional architecture of global economic governance to better reflect these developments.

For example, the Bretton-Woods institutions have taken steps to redress imbalances in voice and representation. 

This is a move in the right direction.  It will be critically important to continue these reform efforts.

But existing international monetary, financial and trading systems still need more coherence, consistency and interaction.

Multilateral frameworks have gaps in a range of areas, including debt sustainability, tax cooperation and migrants’ rights.

And essential issues such as advancing a multilateral trade agreement and adopting a universal legally binding climate agreement remain unresolved tasks.

Meanwhile, we hope and wait for a widespread and durable global economic recovery.

The United Nations can and should have an important role to play in addressing issues of global economic governance.

The United Nations General Assembly is the only global forum with universal membership; the only one to give equal voice to all members; and the only one to comprehensively reflect the needs of the least developed countries, small states and under-represented regions.

All countries stand to gain by more inclusive global economic governance.  It is not only a global imperative; it is also an enlightened self-interest for all concerned.

It is therefore important that the G20 and other multilateral institutions not least on the regional level, continue to strengthen their engagement with the UN on economic governance and other cross-cutting global challenges.

At the same time, it is essential to continue efforts inside and across the UN system to enhance coherence, coordination and cooperation.

The G20 Summit this year will take place, once again, during a period of economic uncertainty and fragility.

I commend the Russian G20 Presidency for the timely focus on stimulating economic growth and job creation.

This can strengthen efforts already made by the G20 in recent years to support global economic recovery and financial stability.

From the perspective of the UN, I would also hope to see continued emphasis by the G20 on financing for development, not least by ensuring that Official Development Assistance is not reduced.  Recent disturbing trends must be reversed.  The 0.7 per cent ODA target must be pursued with renewed vigour.

Continued engagement on development by the G20 and other economic fora is essential. Development needs to be fully integrated into global economic governance. This is vital, if we are to shape a dynamic and effective post-2015 development agenda and to build an economic governance system universally accepted.

This requires a strong engagement by leaders of governments and development ministers as well as finance ministers.

An effective, inclusive system of global economic governance can enhance the global partnership for development, now and beyond 2015.
The MDG framework has been the most successful global poverty reduction campaign in history. It is an example of what we can do when we truly work together.

But, much remains to be done.  Less than 1,000 days remain to the MDG deadline in 2015.  We must accelerate our efforts, keeping up the momentum of the Secretary-General’s launch on 4 April of the 1,000 days campaign.  Here the UN and the World Bank are co-operating ever more closely.

We must also look beyond 2015.

We must build on MDG successes, and incorporate unfinished MDG targets into the sustainable development goals and the post-2015 development agenda.

The ongoing work on this agenda is based on an inclusive consultative process, involving Member States, the UN system, Bretton-Woods institutions, civil society, the private sector, academia and the scientific community.

It is a daunting and, yet, inspiring task for all of us to help set the direction for global development post-2015 based on sustainable growth, equity and social and economic inclusion. Effective and fair global economic governance will be an important factor for the post-2015 framework.

During the last decade or so, the global economic and environmental landscape has changed dramatically.

Climate change has become a central issue on the international agenda.  A range of other concerns have arisen, including the ongoing impact of the world financial and economic crisis and challenges related to food, water and energy security.

For the international community to respond also to these challenges, existing global economic governance must be strengthened. We must have institutions which can cooperate and effectively deal with today’s global realities, problems as well as opportunities.

I trust that today’s discussions can bring us closer to a more effective and inclusive system which serves the security and well being of all.